Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Feminism" vs. Humanism

So, for something a bit more serious . . .

Recently, Linda Hirshman wrote an op-ed piece for the Washington Post's website about how the current generation of feminists has been tricked into backing causes like racial equality and anti-war protest to the detriment of the Women's Rights movement.

Moe, a columnist from one of my current-favorite websites, wrote a rebuttal arguing that humanism needn't be at odds with feminism because only defending the rights of your personal demographic is myopic and dangerous.

I have long been a self-identified feminist; and I won't lie, a lot of it stems from my early-in-life hatred of men (I am, for the record, male if that means anything). But I'm an adult now, and I hope it is never said that my belief in equality is limited ONLY to women. I am an "-ist" for whatever group is being deprived their dignity as a human being. Even straight white guys need someone on their side sometimes . . . maybe not in the White House; but life isn't always about Capitol Hill, is it?

I think Moe's piece is well-written and worth a read, and this quote in particular got me right in my heart-region:

. . . We care about people. It's what we do! And if the popularization of neuroscience and terms like "emotional intelligence" -- coupled with the past eight years of Enron and Spitzer and Mission Accomplished -- has endowed my generation with anything, it's the confidence that our empathy is rational; that the way we are is on the side of reason.

1 comment:

jared said...

a thank a thank a thank you. i think your statement that you're an "-ist" for any group that is being marginalized is right on the money. The progress of any oppressed group is inextricably tied to the progress of each other minority group. Linda Hirshman needs to hop over to the nearest university and take a refresher women's studies course.